E-Bulletin October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017

We post our bi-weekly bulletin to keep you up to date on disability-related resources, news, and other items of interest. This information is being provided solely for non-commercial, nonprofit educational purposes, including news reporting and research. It is not intended for commercial purposes. Further, we understand that our readers generally read the articles and information online, at the websites provided in the hyperlinks, rather than relying solely on our synopses or copies. We are not responsible for the accessibility or the content of other websites. Please be aware that some links provided are time sensitive, and may become inactive at any time.

We include links to articles, editorials and opinion pieces, press releases, and other materials that represent diverse perspectives. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any products, services, sources, information, or opinions expressed in these materials.

Visit the Trainings section for more information on ADA and disability related trainings, meetings, and conferences.

General News

National Disability Policy: 2017 Progress Report

This year’s report from the National Council on Disability (NOD) is organized around the intersection of disability and poverty. The Council, calling poverty “the common thread that continues to compound many of the core concerns for people with disabilities,” examines the reasons people with disabilities are often destined to live in poverty and experience high unemployment despite existing regulations and policies geared toward improving their lives.

The report includes an overview of several emerging and promising practices for achieving economic self-sufficiency, as well as recommendations for policymakers.

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Employment News

"Focus on Disability Employment this Month"

This article reminds employers that October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), is a good time to review policies to make sure disability inclusion efforts are addressed.

Apprenticeship and the American Dream

This blog post touts the benefits of apprenticeship programs for youth, including those with disabilities, and highlights the experience of Philadelphia native Derek Schwartz, who is working in a good job following his own apprenticeship.

Multiple Factors Affect Employment for Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions

This research brief examines the high unemployment rates for young people with mental health conditions and the various additional factors, such as gender, race, and education level, which can add to the challenges these young people face in finding and maintaining employment.

Inclusion @ Work

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) unveiled this new resource outlining seven core components of a disability-inclusive workplace, along with a menu of strategies for achieving them.

National Employment and Disabilities Survey: Supervisor Perspectives

This survey revealed that many employers have policies aimed at hiring and accommodating workers with disabilities, but are underutilizing proven practices and successful strategies.

“The Bermuda Triangle for Employers: Navigating ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Comp Leave Laws”

This article outlines procedures for employers to ensure they manage employee leave appropriately when the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state workers compensation laws interact.

“Accommodations Beyond ADA Requirements Can Backfire on Employers”

This article advises employers about how to appropriately provide “light” or “reduced” duty positions if they are going to temporarily excuse employees with disabilities from performing essential job functions.

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ADA Legal News

“Federal Court Declines to Overturn $780,000 Jury Verdict”

This article reports on a recent decision supporting a verdict in favor of an individual who applied for Social Security benefits, claiming she was too disabled to work, and simultaneously brought an ADA case against her employer. In such cases, individuals must explain the “apparent contradiction” between claims that they are qualified workers under the ADA, and yet eligible for Social Security benefits based on inability to work.

The court found the plaintiff had sufficiently explained her position in this case, noting that she was qualified and able to work as long as she was reasonably accommodated, but when her employer took away her accommodation, she became unable to work.

“12 Philly Restaurants Reach Compliance Agreements to Remove ADA Barriers”

Twelve Philadelphia area restaurants will be making a variety of changes to improve accessibility.

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Health and Wellness News

People with Long-Term Physical Disability Have a Lot to Share About Successful Aging

A recent study suggests that older adults who were born with disabilities or acquired them at an early age have important resources and knowledge which may benefit those who are aging into disability.

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Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

Seeking Participants for Study of Reasonable Accommodation Within Small Employers

The Northeast ADA Regional Center is seeking participants for a research study on reasonable accommodation policies and practices within small employers (15-500 employees). The study is open to individuals who work for small employers, including those in leadership roles who have responsibility for implementing accommodation processes within their companies. Participants will be interviewed by phone and will receive a $50 gift card at the end of their participation. Findings will be used to develop resources to support small employers in this area. For more information or to be screened for participation, contact Vicki Chang.

National Survey about Accessible Parking and Placard Abuse

This survey is for people with disabilities who use, or are eligible to use, accessible parking. The anonymous survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey closes November 1, 2017.

Survey of User Needs for Wireless Technologies

This survey seeks input from people with all types of disabilities on cell phone and tablet use, wearables, smart home technologies, and other next-generation wirelessly-connected devices. Responses will be used to inform designers and engineers, the wireless industry, government regulators, and other researchers to help them make wireless technology more accessible and more useful to people with disabilities.

Survey on Service Animals and Assistance Animals

If you are a U.S. resident at least 18 years old who uses a service animal or other animal that assists with your disability, or a parent of a child who uses such an animal, the Southwest ADA Center invites you to complete this anonymous survey about experiences accessing public places with your animal.

Employers: Registration Open for 2018 Disability Equality Index

The Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices. The DEI is intended to recognize companies’ successful inclusion strategies, as well as identify opportunities for continued improvement. Registration for the 2018 DEI is open until January 12, 2018.

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